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This could me just me not understanding how this is done but I find it infuriating that I can install SQL Server Express from a single executable file that dumps all this stuff like SQL Publishing Wizard and SQL Compact and TSQL this and that...

But when I go to Uninstall SQL Server, ALL this junk is left behind and I have to remove them one by one!

Why is that? Is there an uninstaller I can run that basically says "make my machine as if I never installed SQL Express", just dump it all?

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and by the way, same question for Visual Studio 2010. I did what I thought was a "complete Uninstall" and tons of junk (Dotfuscator, F# runtime, etc) was left behind! –  Josh Jun 13 '11 at 19:59

3 Answers 3

Are you sure they are really part of the component that you're uninstalling? I can't speak about the SQL Server stuff, but with regards to your VS2010 comment, Dotfuscator is a completely separate component that will have its own uninstaller (and is made by a completely different company). VS2010 didn't install it, it's not responsible for uninstalling it. The same would go for F# runtime - if it wasn't something that VS2010 installed when you first installed VS2010, then when you uninstall VS2010, it's not supposed to remove it.

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actually it did install dotfuscator, it's one of the options when you install visual studio, at least it was for me. And I know that SQL Server installed these components as I just reinstalled them into another machine (Which is why I was uninstalling them from the other) and they showed up after the install. So it's definitely SQL Server or Visual Studio that's installing these components, but I can't find a way to uninstall them in one shot. –  Josh Jun 13 '11 at 21:00

The uninstaller, will only uninstall (delete/remove) items which the installer specifically created. Anything that is created by the software, after its installed, will not be removed by the uninstall process.

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see that's why I'm confused. all this stuff WAS installed by the installers, for both SQL server AND Visual Studio. so why can't it simply step through and remove everything it set up? –  Josh Jun 14 '11 at 5:38

One particular scenario I am aware of is when SQL is installed using one account, but uninstalled using a different account.

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